After a resurgent performance at the Valspar Championship last week, Tiger Woods returns to a course he has dominated throughout his career–Bay Hill in Florida–for the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. With Woods firmly back in the mix as a favorite, along with a star-studded field that includes the likes of Jason Day, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama, this as close as it gets to a must-watch non-major tournament.
Television coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational will be split between the Golf Channel (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday coverage) and NBC (Saturday and Sunday coverage). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch both of those channels live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live television channels, including both NBC (live in select markets) and Golf Channel. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Golf Channel or NBC on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
FuboTV: NBC (live in select markets) and Golf Channel are both included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in select markets) is included in all four channel packages, while Golf Channel is in the “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch NBC or Golf Channel live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Note: In addition to being able to watch Golf Channel and NBC live via the above streaming services, you can also watch on your computer via NBCSports.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NBC Sports app. You’ll need to sign in to a TV provider to watch this way, but you can use your Hulu, DirecTV Now, FuboTV or Sling TV credentials to do that.
PGA Tour Live: You can also watch early Thursday and Friday action before Golf Channel coverage begins via PGA Tour Live, which costs $5.99 per month or $39.99 per year. You can then watch on your computer via PGATourLive.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PGA Tour Live app.
Fresh off his best finish since 2013, Woods heads to Bay Hill, where he has won this tournament a silly eight times in his career. With the perfect mix of health, progress and course history, Eldrick is unsurprisingly the oddsmakers’ favorite at +650.
While all eyes will obviously be on Woods, this is an impressive field.
The two most likely to challenge Woods are Jason Day (+1100) and Justin Rose (+1400). Day has a win and a runner-up in his last two starts on Tour, plus he’s just two years removed from his win at Bay Hill, while Rose has tallied five Top-15’s in his last six starts here, including a runner-up to Woods in 2013.
Then there’s Rory McIlroy (+1400) and Rickie Fowler (+1600). Both are in the midst of some struggles right now–McIlroy missed the cut at the Valspar, while Fowler doesn’t have a Top-10 since early January–but both have the talent to turn things around in an instant.
Anytime you have Tiger in contention, you’re going to have most of the sports world tuning in–the ratings from the Valspar confirmed that notion. And things are going to get a little more exciting if he’s on the leaderboard come Sunday, but even if he falls short of expectations this week in Florida, this still sets up as a very entertaining tournament.